Tech Universe: Tuesday 7 August

By Miraz Jordan

The hot topic of the day: Mars. Now India has plans to launch a study on the red planet in 2013. Photo / Thinkstock
The hot topic of the day: Mars. Now India has plans to launch a study on the red planet in 2013. Photo / Thinkstock

MARS PROBING: India plans to launch an orbital probe to Mars in 2013 to study its climate and geology. An Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket will launch the probe from Andhra Pradesh. The Indian Chandrayaan-1 satellite discovered water on the moon in 2009. Let's hope India can find water on Mars too. AFP explains.

MOON ROVING: The Chinese space agency plans to launch its third spacecraft to land on the moon next year. The Chang'e-3 includes both a lander and a rover. After a soft landing it will explore the lunar surface. It's great to see more exploration being planned. Xinhua has the details.

COOL RUNNING: The Omni-Freeze ZERO T-shirt from Columbia Sportswear is embedded with thousands of 3.8 mm hydrophilic polymer rings that soak up sweat. Then the rings expand and absorb body heat which cools the wearer.

Tests showed the shirts cool wearers by several degrees. Save this one for summer. Popular Science elaborates.

FAST RUNNING: The C evolution is an electric scooter from BMW. It runs on 11 kW of continuous output, and 35 kW at peak output. Top speed is around 120 Kph. The lithium-ion batteries are air cooled and give the scooter a range of around 100 Km, though regenerative coasting and braking could add a little. The scooter takes 3 hours to recharge from a household supply. This is another one where if you go full tilt the charge runs out in less than an hour. Wired has more info.

LONG WINDED: The new B75 rotor blade for wind turbines produced by Siemens is huge — 75 metres long. The tips of the blades move at up to 290 kilometres per hour. The entire blade is poured as a single piece made of glass fibre reinforced epoxy resin and balsa wood, so it has no seams or joints. The blades are also specially shaped to deliver maximum rotor performance at a range of different wind speeds. The blades will be used in a prototype 6 megawatt offshore wind power system in Denmark. They must also be challenging to transport and install, especially out at sea. PhysOrg details.

Miraz Jordan,

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